School lunch rules OK refined grains, flavored low-fat milk

NEW YORK (AP) — The national school lunch program will allow refined grains back onto menus, scaling back some of the contested changes implemented under President Barack Obama.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its decision will give flexibility to schools struggling to serve only whole grain-rich foods. It says half of grains on menus will have to be whole-grain rich. The agency is also giving schools more time to reduce sodium and scrapping a final, stricter sodium limit.

Flavored, low-fat milk also will be allowed.

A group representing school cafeteria operators praised the changes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group that supported the Obama administration’s rules, said any struggling schools would have eventually figured out a way to comply with the standards.

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